The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe. It has since expanded to other transition economies and gained unique international investor expertise in fostering economic change by investing more than €150 billion in a total of over 6000 projects. EBRD promotes democratic rule and market economy, sound commercial laws and strong institutions, all of which are integral to sustainable economic transition. Through Legal Transition Programme in the Office of the General Counsel, the Bank helps to create investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environments in the economies where we invest. The EBRD Legal Transition Programme works with reform-oriented governments and specialises in designing technical cooperation programmes to support regulatory reforms to sustainably transform local economies.
The World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) not only increases reciprocal market access commitments among its Parties but it also sets out minimum standards for conducting public procurement, ensuring the creation of open, non-discriminatory, and transparent procurement markets. Accession to the GPA can, arguably, catalyse and reinforce broader reforms that improve overall governance and, ultimately, strengthen not only the economy but also the legitimacy of governments. To some extent, experience have shown that indeed countries have sought or seek to join the GPA with the derivative aim of improving governance and strengthening supplier competition in their own procurement markets through better and more inclusive market access opportunities. This growing interest in GPA accession demanded a more structured and ongoing cooperation between the EBRD and the WTO Secretariat, resulting in the EBRD GPA Technical Cooperation Facility.
Under the work of the Facility, EBRD experts have been tasked to assess the primary public procurement law (PPL) or existing draft legislation (draft PPL) of nine different economies (under the region of operation of the Bank) against the mandatory minimum requirements of the GPA. The report, which includes Observers in the process of accession as well as economies with accession commitments, was developed by benchmarking each national public procurement legislation against the "WTO GPA Compliance Questionnaire", a check list with more than 150 questions, developed by EBRD experts. The assessment report seeks to identify possible regulatory gaps with the text of the GPA in order to facilitate further consultations relating to accession negotiations. Though this exercise constitutes a preliminary diagnostic and does not constitute under any circumstance a binding opinion, notwithstanding, it provides groundwork for the alignment of the Observer's government procurement regime with the minimum standards of the GPA, before or at the beginning of the accession process.
Building from this exercise, this webinar will focus on presenting the results of this preliminary diagnostic. Guest speakers will also discuss and exchange information on general GPA compliance issues identified across the analysed jurisdictions in order to share common challenges as well as outline ways in which particular countries are addressing or expect to address particular issues raised throughout the GPA accession process. The broad objectives of this online session are:
To familiarize participants with the GPA, notably as it relates to international trade, market access, and modern best standards in public procurement.
To elaborate on the benefits of GPA 'observer status' as well as potential benefits and challenges of accession to the GPA;
To discuss potential regulatory gaps vis-à-vis the text of the GPA and how to approach them, considering, for instance, the availability of transitional measures for developing countries.
Simultaneous English-Russian interpretation will be available.
November 24, 2020
11:00 AM - 11:10 AM
Opening Remarks & Launch of the EBRD GPA Technical Cooperation Website
11:10 AM - 11:20 AM
Developing the Observer’s compliance assessment report
11:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Countries in the process of accession: challenges and experiences
11:50 AM - 12:10 PM
Jump-starting the accession process: countries with paused negotiations
12:10 PM - 12:20 PM
A growing interest in the Agreement: Brazil’s current accession
12:20 PM - 12:30 PM
Advisor at Ministry of Finance Public Procurement Bureau
Deputy Chairperson at State Procurement Agency of Georgia
Deputy Director of Public Procurement Department of the Kyrgyz Republic
Head at Foreign Relations Dept., State Procurement Agency of Georgia
Policy Expert at EBRD GPA TC Facility
Deputy Director of Public Procurement Agency of Tajikistan
Murilo Lubambo de Melo
Trade Negotiator (GPA), Secretary of Foreign Trade at Ministry of Economy of Brazil
Counsellor and Head of the Government Procurement and Competition Policy Group at WTO
Procurement Expert at EBRD GPA TC Facility
Senior Counsel, Legal Transition Programme at EBRD
Director, Legal Transition Programme of Ebrd
Outreach Coordinator and Results Manager, EBRD GPA TC Facility at EBRD